What is the MAU Bayreuth Conference 2019?
A Model African Union conference is a simulation of the African Union and its institutions. During the conference you have the opportunity to represent one of the 54 member states of the African Union, while engaging into interesting debates on various social, political and economic aspects of policy making in Africa. This year’s conference will host up to 70 Delegates, who will debate in five different committees. The topics, which will be debated in the committees are actually issues that are also discussed in the real African Union. Thus, you will engage in a process of finding innovative solutions to real problems. The resolutions adopted during the conference will be highlighted in a report, which will be submitted to the African Union. Through participating in the Model African Union Bayreuth Conference 2019 you will be able to improve your public speaking and negotiation skills, learn more about current affairs in Africa and additionally have the opportunity to experience African culture, while engaging with people of diverse backgrounds from all around the world and exploring the beautiful city of Bayreuth.
I have heard of “Model United Nations” before. Is a “Model African Union” something similar?
Yes, the difference between a Model African Union conference and a Model United Nations conference is that at a MAU conference the African Union is simulated and at a MUN the United Nations. So your previous experience in a MUN is of advantage at the MAU conference but is not obligatory!
What is the Pre-Program?
The pre-program is a special opportunity to attend interesting workshops, experience African culture and explore the beautiful city of Bayreuth in advance of the actual conference. The pre-program starts on Friday (7th June 2019) and ends on Saturday at lunch time. All Delegates and Chairpersons are welcome to take part in the pre-program.
What are the requirements to participate in the conference?
You should be motivated to learn more about the African Union and engage in vivid debates regarding interesting topics. In addition, you have to be at least 16 years old and have confident skills in English. A good command of the language, both spoken and written, is sufficient. We do not require any certification of your English level. Our conference has the aim to become really diverse, therefore you are also welcome to apply as a Delegate or Chair if you are not a university student.
Why should I participate?
You will learn about contemporary topics, transnational policy making, international relations as well as African cultures. In addition, you will meet new people from different backgrounds and make new acquaintances and friends. On top, you will receive a certificate for your participation as prove of your commitment and gained experience. The best: Delegates will be awarded an additional tribute during the closing ceremony.
Where will the conference take place?
The conference will be conducted at the University of Bayreuth in Upper Franconia in Germany. The venues are situated in an overviewable section of the faculty of Law, Business & Economic studies. As the University of Bayreuth is a campus university, the rooms, where the committee sessions will take place and the venues used for the opening and closing ceremony, workshops, most cultural events and catering are located in walking distance.
What’s the order of the conference and where can I find the schedule?
On the first day of the conference all delegates will register at the conference venues, afterwards a workshop on the rules of procedure (the debating rules) takes place. At the beginning of the first committee session all Delegates will give an opening speech to let the other Delegates know about their country’s position. Afterwards, the general debate starts, while there are moderated parts of debate as well as unmoderated parts. During unmoderated debate you can freely engage with other Delegates in order to form a working group to combine your ideas in a working paper and eventually formulate resolutions, which will be voted upon. Apart from debating interesting topics in the committees, you will have the opportunity to participate in content based workshops, get involved with international guests and experience African culture and amazing events. Have a look at last years conference schedule.
Where will I sleep during the conference?
We think that Couchsurfing is the best way to connect with people and to be hosted by local students in welcoming and cozy apartments. Therefore, we will organize free Couchsurfing during the conference. Anyway, you can choose to stay in a hotel and cover the costs of your accommodation during the conference. We will provide information about youth hostels and hotels in Bayreuth on our website. (Link follows)
You have a place for out-of-town guests? Let us know if you can provide a couch/bed to stay for him/her: email@example.com
Where will I dine during the conference?
Catering and Coffee breaks are included in the delegate fee! You will eat in the conference venues at the University of Bayreuth, where you also have the chance to provide yourself with food and drinks anytime.
How should I dress?
To maintain the conference atmosphere, we ask all participants to come dressed in business and/or African attire.
How can I apply?
After the admissions are open, you can apply here, either as a Delegate or as Chair.
Is there a maximum age for Delegates and Chairs?
No. There is only a minimum age (16 years).
Can I participate if …
… I have never attended a simulation of a conference before?
Yes, you don’t need any previous experience with conferences to participate as a delegate. (You do so though, as a Chair, see above.)
The “Model African Union” is a relatively young endeavour, but the structure is similar to other simulations like the “Model United Nations”, so that the procedure is known to you if you have participated in any other simulation before. Don’t worry though, if you don’t have any experience with simulations: In the first round of discussion most of the delegates are a bit nervous and everyone is still getting to know each other and of course everyone is helping each other out, especially the newbies!
… I’m a high school student?
Yes, you can participate if you are at least 16 years old.
… I’m not a university student (anymore)?
Yes, you can participate as well if you are a high school student, a PhD candidate, an employee or if you have graduated recently.
… I don’t know much about Africa?
Yes, you don’t have to have any specific knowledge about Africa to participate in the conference. One of the major purposes of the conference is to learn about cultural, socio-political and economic issues as well as current developments in Africa. Furthermore, you will be provided with some information in the study guide of your committee. You should gain some knowledge about the country you are representing though in advance in the internet or in books.
… I don’t study in a politics related field?
Yes, you don’t need any previous knowledge about politics, policy making or international relations. No matter if you study in the field of natural or social sciences, humanities or if you are still at high school, you can register as a delegate.
What are the tasks of a Delegate?
As a Delegate you will represent one of the member states of the African Union, while debating its policies in one of the eight committees, which are going to be simulated during the MAU Bayreuth Conference 2019.
After your application for the conference you are allocated a country which you are going to represent at the conference. You can state your preferences regarding the committee and the country, which you would like to represent in the application form. You should try to gather as much information as possible about the country that you are going to represent, for instance political aims and economic relations. A study guide, which will be uploaded in advance of the conference, will inform you about the most important aspects of the topics that you will debate in your committee. The purpose of the study guide is to assist you with your research so that each delegate has approximately the same knowledge from the same sources in the discussion rounds. In each committee two topics will be discussed. You are required to write a position paper about both of the topics (one page each) and send it to your Chairs some days before the conference. As a Delegate you are not going to represent your personal opinion regarding the topic under discussion but the point of view of the country that you are representing, this should be considered in your position paper. As you usually do not represent your home country, being a Delegate is a great opportunity to view a certain topic from a new perspective. The preparation as a Delegate usually takes about 2 days to one week. Each committee consists of about 20 Delegates. The working language is English.
In addition to debating interesting real world problems in the committees, you will have the opportunity to meet people of various nationalities and backgrounds and experience African culture at a truly international conference.
What is a Study Guide?
A study guide is a background guide, which is prepared by the chairpersons of a committee in advance of the conference in order to give the Delegates of their committee some general information regarding the topics to be discussed. The purpose of the study guide is to give the Delegates some hints for their further research on the topic and their county’s position. As a Delegate you are highly recommended to read the study guide carefully and use it as the basis for your own research.
What’s a Positon Paper?
A position paper or policy statement illustrates a country’s point of view regarding a certain topic. As a Delegate you write a position paper of one page per topic and submit it to your Chairs in advance of the conference. The position paper should include how the topic affects your country, your country’s policy regarding the topic, your country’s relationship with the African Union regarding the topic and your country’s policy proposals to find a solution concerning the problems relevant for the topic. The position paper may also include previous resolutions your country has signed or opposed and your country’s relations with other member states of the African Union regarding the topic.
What are rules of procedure?
The Rules of Procedure are a set of rules, which govern the parliamentary procedures during committee sessions, while this includes the flow of debate, the voting procedure and the rights and obligations of Delegates and Chairpersons during the conference. You will find them on our website in advance of the conference (Link follows). Additionally, we will conduct a rules of procedure workshop for all delegates on the first day of the conference.
What is a Resolution?
The final aim of the committee sessions is to be able to pass a resolution. A resolution is a formal policy document, which contains all the proposed solutions to a topic the Delegates could agree on during debate. The first step towards the passing of a resolution is to share your country’s policy proposals with other Delegates of your committee in order to get further information on the other Delegates’ positions regarding the topic under discussion. During the process of debate, you should try to form a working group with other Delegates, who have similar ideas and start to work on a working paper. A working paper is a proposed solution, which does not have to be written in resolution format. A working paper can become a draft resolution when it meets the formal requirements for draft resolutions. Once a draft resolution has received the majority of votes of the Delegates present in the committee it becomes a resolution, which will be presented to the Pan-African Parliament, which is the General Assembly of the Model African Union conference. If the resolution has received the majority of votes of the Delegates present in the Pan-African Parliament, it becomes officially adopted by the Assembly and will be sent to the real African Union as a proposal of potential solutions.
What’s the Pan-African Parliament?
The Pan-African Parliament is the general assembly of the conference. Here you will meet the Delegates of the other committees. Some countries will be represented by two or more delegate in the Pan-African Parliament. In this case you should reach a common sense concerning your policies before you will vote on a resolution in the final meeting of the general assembly. The Pan-African Parliament is moderated by its President and the Secretary General. Your Chairs will be present as well and assist you to present your committee’s resolutions in a good way.
What are the tasks of a Chair?
Chairpersons are responsible for a committee’s dais. They are moderating the flow of debate and the voting procedure according to parliamentary rules of procedure. Moreover, they assist their delegates whenever needed and make sure that all Delegates in their committee are acting according to the rules of procedure. Additionally, Chairpersons are responsible for preparing a study guide in advance of the conference in order to give their delegates some background information regarding the topics to be discussed in the committee. A really good Chairperson is motivated, has a very good command of English, both spoken and written, knows the topics to be discussed very well and has an idea about the position of the different member states of the committee regarding the topics.
If you think the description above fits you and you have some previous experience with Model African Union or Model United Nations conferences, you are welcome to apply as a Chairperson and might get the chance to chair one of the eight committees that are going to be simulated during the Model African Union Bayreuth Conference 2019. Please check out our website if you would like to apply as a Chair. There you find an application form, including an essay question for each committee. Choose the committee you are most interested to chair and write an essay on the topic presented in the application form. Once our admissions team received your application they will contact you.
What should I do if I need a Visa to attend the conference?
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country that is not part of the Schengen Agreement you are required to apply for a Schengen Visa for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany and the duration of your stay.
I’d like to volunteer during the conference. Where can I register and what exactly will I do during the conference?
You will be able to apply as a volunteer on our website very soon. There you also can specify in which department you would like to work: logistics, cultural events, public relations and/or conflict management. The Undersecretary Generals of the respective department will explain what your tasks will look like. You will also receive a certificate for your dedication and involvement.
What is the Code of Conduct?
The Code of Conduct is a legally binding document, which governs how Delegates as well as Chairpersons should behave during the conference, including their rights and obligations. All potential Delegates and Chairpersons have to agree with the Code of Conduct upon the submission of the online application form.
Whom can I contact if I have further questions?
*Disclaimer: The content of this article is intended solely for the purpose of providing general information and does not constitute legal advice.